Global Consumer Sentiment – Updated for April 2020

A few weeks ago I had brought to your attention the Global Consumer Sentiment research done by McKinsey & Co in March 2020.

This research study on Consumer Sentiment was now updated with further research done in April 2020, with the following results.

1. Optimism on an eventual economic recovery

As can be seen below the views and sentiments about any eventual economic recovery vary greatly across countries and continents. Countries like Italy, Spain and France score low on any optimism with regards any economic recovery in their country, whilst the US, India and China are more optimistic about an eventual economic recovery. It is also interesting to take note of the trajectory, in the sense, that for example the US consumers although still rather optimistic on an economic recovery have scored the lowest of such optimistic sentiment on the 5th April, whilst in the case of India and China the optimism on an economic recovery is improving over time. This I guess depends on what stage the pandemic is at in the respective country.

2. Expected change in Consumer Spending

It is also interesting to see how the consumers expect their spending to change when compared to prior the outbreak of the COVID-19. While there is a general decline in spending almost accross all categories except groceries, there are pockets of very interesting insights:

(a) US and Brazil consumers seem to be spending more on groceries than consumers in other countries

(b) Korea seems the only country where consumers are increasing spending on takeout food.

(c) As people are on lockdown or partial lockdown in various parts of the world, there is a general increase in expenditure on Home Entertainment in almost all countries except in Brazil and France

(d) Spending on Books and Print is on the increase only in India and Korea

(e) China which can be considered as a post-pandemic country is the country registering most increased spending in various product categories, which besides Groceries are all concentrated in Household & Personal Care Products, Personal Services (like Fitness) and also Gasoline (car fuel) as many Chinese are now travelling to go to work. This gives a great insight into what categories consumer will start spending once the lockdowns or partial lockdowns are over in other parts of the world.

3. Expected duration of effects by Consumers

As can be seen below, though in varying degrees, the expectation of a long-lasting effect on personal routines and persona finances is widespread across various countries. Consumers in Japan, Korea and UK are the most to believe that this crisis will impact them for the longest period.

4. Expected Time usage by Consumers

Finally it is interesting to see that all consumers around the globe, except Chinese ones, expect to spend less time working and instead to spend more time watching the news, entertaining themselves at home and socialising online. Does this mean that teleworking is failing?


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Silvan Mifsud

Silvan holds a degree in Banking & Finance from the University of Malta and an MBA from the University of Reading, specialising in Corporate Finance and Business Leadership. Silvan has been involved in various sectors of the economy holding various managerial and directorship roles. Silvan is presently working as a Director for Advisory Services at EMCS, whereby he advises various businesses on their strategy, operations, corporate governance, financial performance analysis and sourcing their financing needs.